We are putting undue strain on the planet. But it’s not too late to turn things around.
We know what needs to be done—and we know we need to do it together.
By conducting ground-breaking freshwater research at the IISD Experimental Lakes Area, advising mineral-rich governments on responsible mining practices, and supporting sustainable agriculture, IISD works to conserve and protect the world’s most valuable assets.
The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development
The IGF supports nations committed to leveraging mining for sustainable development to ensure negative impacts are limited and financial benefits are shared.
IISD Experimental Lakes Area
IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is an exceptional natural laboratory comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds set aside for scientific research.
Ending Hunger Sustainably
Ceres2030 is a novel partnership between academia, civil society, and economists, bringing together three institutions who share a common vision: a world without hunger, where small-scale producers enjoy greater agricultural incomes and productivity, in a way that supports sustainable food systems.
Human activity—from pollutants to climate change—is threatening the health of our planet's precious freshwater resources. That's where we come in.
We work to optimize the benefits of mining and ensure the financial benefits are shared by supporting the development of laws and policies.
Food and Agriculture
Agriculture is on the front lines of nearly all urgent global challenges, from hunger to climate change to rising inequality.
Tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in Mining
Equipping resource-rich developing country governments with the knowledge, skills, and tools to optimize the financial benefits from mining.
New Tech, New Deal
Assessing how the mining sector can grapple with the disruptions and technological innovations that are reshaping the industry.
Toward More Equitable and Sustainable Trade in Food and Agriculture
IISD’s work on trade in food and farm goods seeks to improve the extent to which trade policy supports sustainable development outcomes and expand the space for informed discussion among a wider set of policy actors.
Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming
Offering a simple and practical legal tool for buyers and producers to improve their business relations and to help make responsible agricultural investment a reality.
Financial Technologies and the Environment
Exploring how financial technologies could help solve pressing environmental challenges.
AquaHacking Lake Winnipeg
We are challenging young innovators to team up and develop new and innovative solutions to tackle urgent freshwater issues.
Why don't we talk about acid rain and the ozone hole anymore? Scientists debunk misinformation
If you're over 30, you likely remember a time when there was a lot of hand-wringing and furrowed brows over the ozone hole and skin cancer, as well as the threat of acid rain destroying ecosystems.
Consumer demand driving cotton sustainability standards
A new report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) highlights the continuing year-on-year rise in the adoption of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) among cotton growers.
Wyden investigation of fish contamination is an important step
I am pretty accustomed to reading headlines detailing the latest health issues plaguing our freshwater fish. It comes with the territory as an ecotoxicologist working on the health of North America's relatively abundant, but certainly not infinite, freshwater supplies.
Global sustainable cotton grew 39-40% CAGR between 2008 & 2019: IISD
Cotton produced in accordance with voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) globally saw a 39 per cent to 40 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2008 and 2019, according to a report by International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). In 2019, about 92 per cent of VSS-compliant cotton came from Asia, led by India, China, and Turkey.
Insects as feed for livestock production
Livestock production makes up 70 to 80% of the world’s agricultural land use and yet only produces ∼18% of all calories and 25% of all proteins consumed by humans. To grow food for livestock uses 33% of the world’s cropland. Although lifestyle changes, such as vegetarianism and veganism, may help to achieve sustainability in food production, the global demand for meat consumption is still increasing, so it is also crucial to consider more efficient ways to rear livestock.
Sustainable cotton sector continues to grow
Consumers and companies across the planet are increasingly choosing cotton produced in accordance with voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) such as Better Cotton or Cotton made in Africa, according to new research from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
Organic Transitions Need Some Push and Pull to Bear Fruit
As farmers grapple with pressures ranging from rising input prices to supply chain disruptions, how can governments help reduce vulnerabilities and mitigate risks—and do so in a way that supports smallholders, communities, and the environment?
Other related topics
In a circular economy, products are designed, produced, and used to reduce waste and regenerate natural systems.
Infrastructure is the backbone of sustainable development and a powerful driver of economic activity.
Standards and Value Chains
Voluntary sustainability standards contribute to biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction, and gender equality.
Technology and Innovation
When it comes to achieving a sustainable future for all, we cannot merely rely on tried-and-tested formulas. We need to think outside the box and get innovative.